[Sticky] Beginners Level Material - Your Opinion Please!
Everyone is a beginner at something.
If it is there and we are confident we know all we need to know about it, then we don't read it.
On the other hand, we might find that one missing nugget that makes the penny drop for us.
It would be nice to know how you come across the function words in Ardiuno or where they can be found and there meanings ( its alright saying ie : parse or float ) but where are they born how do we find such knowledge it would be nice to know.
In your Arduino IDE:
Help -> Reference
@robotbuilder In one sense I would agree with you. If you are mainly interested in completing the project at hand, the blind alleys are a problem. If on the other hand, you are trying to learn for the future, they can be useful. Over forty tears' of software development, I went down many blind alleys. After the first few, I learned to save what I did on those excursions because the knowledge or perhaps large chunks of design or code from that effort turned out to be useful in the future. I am finding the same to be true as I work on electronics projects now. The various missteps and wrong turns have helped me to learn a lot more about mosfets, microcontrollers, and OpAmps, neither of which were part of the TTL, Z80, and BJT world in which I first forayed some forty years ago. As with most things, I seem to learn more in analyzing my failures that I ever did reveling in my successes.
We all have different learning styles I guess. I go back further than TTL, Z80, and the BJT world. They used to have these things called vacuum tubes...
I've been found out.
Yes i think it was as i communicate with Paul quite often as well and had just sent a message to him.
He should be highly honored as well if I got it wrong the other way around.
The question becomes "Where do you start with a beginner?". E=IR? C? C++
There are so many excellent beginners channels, why redo what has already been done?
EEVBlog has done videos on almost every beginning topic.
Just go to youtube and search on Beginning Electronics
There is even a channel "Beginning Electronics" The guy put out 9 videos, 1 received 46K views, the rest 1.4K or fewer. The lowest, 88 views. He gave up 5 years ago.
However, there are not a lot of channels that put out high level videos. "The guy with the Swiss accent" probably comes the closest to DBW.
DBW is my favorite youtube channel.
My 2 cents.
@robotbuilder Oh, I know about them - just never worked with them. I used to watch my dad in his TV repair shop working in a rat's nest of wires trying to find the part that was bad. It wasn't always the tubes as I am sure that you know. One thing that he told me once that I had never known was that in the earlier days of radio, they marketed them by the number of tubes that they had just like they did with transistor radios in the 60's. He said in the tube radios, some of the tubes actually had no function and only the filaments were wired. Just there to have more than the other brand.
@joeo It doesn't hurt to touch on the basics as they relate to the main body of Dronebot Workshop. There are always details that some have either missed or not fully understood. Sometimes just hearing it said a different way will flip the switch.
When I taught myself basic electronics from many many books I was very tempted to write the kind of beginner tutorial I wished was available in the first place. Yes read lots of books and watch lots of beginner tutorials and it will all eventually come together it just takes a lot longer as you separate what you need to know from what you don't need to know.
I was just watching a video on MOSFET circuit design and honestly if you don't understand the basic concepts of electric force, current, resistance, power, capacitance and inductance and their mathematical relationships I really can't see how you can understand these advanced tutorial. You need a clear understanding of those basic concepts, their mathematical relationships and how to measure them to follow these tutorials.
I just looked at some beginner electronic tutorials and one started off about AC in the house vs DC. Another began with matter being made up of atoms with electrons and protons and then went on about quantum physics. Really!! These are not designed for a hobby level interest in learning electronics. Instead start with simple DC circuits powered by one or more electric cells. Learn how connecting electric cells in series can increase the voltage or in parallel to increase the maximum amps or both. Once resistance is understood an electric cell becomes a constant voltage source in series with internal resistance. And so on. To start all you need is a multimeter to "see" what is happening.
I think using the word Basic is far more appropriate than Beginner.
Bill makes it easy to follow his superb instructions for his most sophisticated topics and be successful. That is very different from understanding how to select similar components yourself for your own applications.
You may be able to follow complicated instructions to construct and program a complex device but still not understand the basics of how it works you need to build similar devices yourself.
For example, I will suggest a "Specific Applications: Using Transistors as Switches - A Personal Alarm" that relies on and references Bill's wonderful RCWL-0516 Microwave Proximity Sensor - With & Without Arduino and MOSFETs and Transistors with Arduino tutorials.
The nine volt battery's power to the alarm (which runs on 6 -15 volts) will be turned on and off by a transistor connected to the RCWL-0516's output pin. How do I select the transistor to get the maximum power to the alarm? Is a resistor between the nine volt battery and the RCWL-0516 needed? If so, how do I size the resistor to get the loudest alarm and the longest battery life? What else do I need to consider? Are these beginner or basic questions?
Future programs exploring specific applications and explaining how to apply the concepts in Bill's current excellent tutorials might be valuable to beginner and experienced people alike.
Agreed. And on the subject of transistors as switches, please include a discussion of the difference between high-side and low-side switches and which devices to use for each. This had me foundering for quite some time as I was trying to treat a transistor as literally as a switch and never conceived of its location relative to the load mattering inn either the behavior of the overall circuit or in the behavior of the transistor itself. If there are any other gotchas like that, it is good to0 include them also in a basics course.
@codeslinger Many thanks for your excellent, very appropriate reply! And yes, yipes! I'd never thought about the issues you raised. Should we ask Bill to tackle the Designing Your Own Circuits process?